How can we help you, South Africa? - The Sharmanator

How can we help you, South Africa?

Last night at 18:57 on SA’s major TV channels, First National Bank (FNB) controlled the airwaves and broadcast this powerful message:

There’s no doubt that it’s goose bump stuff, but what now?

They launched this microsite too –> http://www.youcanhelp.co.za/ but when you land there it feels like FNB has missed a trick. South Africans want to make a difference and it is incredible to see a corporate brand invest so much (airtime on that many channels, in primetime, don’t come cheap, yo) in kicking off such an important conversation but I want a better call to action.

I have been in contact with one of the bank’s ‘social media specialists’ who is keen to receive content from contributors to add to the conversation. The one thing South Africans are incredibly good at, is talking, but there are also a lot of people who physically want to make a difference.

My recommendation – and perhaps I’m pre-empting a second phase that we will eventually be privy to – is to build a database of willing volunteers. Use ‘You Can Help’ as a way to mobilise foot soldiers, start with small projects like painting schools, reading to children, giving them hugs and enhancing the aspects of society that are in dire need of attention.

We have a long way to go. Especially with the skullfuckery that Senhor Zuma will inevitably involve us in over the next six years. Unlike the naive respondent answers – that have been converted into an infographic on the microsite – we can’t rely on politicians to improve our beautifully imperfect country. We have to do it ourselves.

No one says it’s going to be easy, but we need to adopt the approach you take when eating an elephant. We can do it if we take one bite at a time.

;)

  • Liz on Jan 18th 2013 at 07:46

    This is not a new message, we hear this every day through various organisations, Mandela day, LeadSA are two of the more prominent ones! I personally throw my weight behind Change a Life a inisiative run by the company I work for Computershare Investor Services Pty Ltd. We Change Lives and we hope to do it for many years still to come. To everyone making a difference keep going I know its not easy.

  • Adam on Jan 18th 2013 at 08:40

    I can’t help feeling cynical about this ‘purpose’ type advertising. FNB are still trying to sell products and make superior returns for shareholders – they don’t really give a s*^% about what children think. Put their money where their mouth is (and not in ad spend).

  • Werner on Jan 18th 2013 at 09:49

    It’s a real pity that people is cynical about the ad. Great initiative to make this message public and to tell South Africa FNB are serious about the small,yet important things. Great Bank and loved the ad. Get behind the campaign and support It to make a difference.

  • Gareth on Jan 21st 2013 at 01:48

    Vodacom already have that charity thing, where you can ‘get paid a salary for a year’ while working with the charity/NGO etc of your choice. That to me seems like real ‘helping’.

  • Gareth on Jan 21st 2013 at 01:49

    Other than that, anything that pisses off the ANCYL gets gold stars. But as long as FNB is focusing more on the actual banking experience they deliver, since they are in fact a bank and not a charity organisation.

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